The scheme comprised a mix of shops, food and drink uses, homes and offices in a range of buildings, some of 11 storeys. The council argued that it failed to offer adequate private amenity and children's play space. It also claimed that the air quality for residents would be unacceptable.
A key component of the amenity space was a green roof intended for use by older children and adults as an informal recreational and sitting-out area. The inspector observed that this would be unsuitable for ball games and any antisocial behaviour could have significant implications for people on the ground. She saw nothing to prevent smaller children from using the roof space, which could be unsafe in the absence of adequate supervision.
The appellants had offered a substantial financial contribution for a new park identified as a possibility by consultants for the council. However, the land proposed for the park was in private ownership and the owners objected to the appellants' attempt to offset the open space shortfall on their site by relying on future provision on land outside their control. The inspector noted that the park was not encapsulated in the development plan and it was by no means certain that it would be delivered in the foreseeable future, if at all.
With regard to council concern over nitrogen dioxide levels, she decided that the appellants had adequately assessed air quality. In her view, they had proved that conditions in the proposed buildings and the spaces around them would not lead to occupiers being exposed to unacceptably high concentrations of the gas.
DCS Number 100-058-306
Inspector Jill Kingaby; Inquiry